2. In education, UNESCO is in the process of finalizing with the Palestinian Authority (PA) a project for supporting the rehabilitation of two centres for education and basic training of disadvantaged youth in Nablus, one centre for girls and one for boys. The preliminary budget is about US $150,000, of which US $100,000 are extra-budgetary funds from Germany.
3. In January 1997, UNESCO included the Palestinian Autonomous Territories (PAT) in the UNESCO ‘Inclusive Schools and Community Support Programmes’ (financed with regard to the PAT by the Government of Norway). A contract was signed with the Palestinian Authority since that date and implementation started almost immediately.
4. The second phase of the Palestinian Curriculum Development Centre (financed by the Italian Government) started in November 1996 with an extensive campaign of information about the Five-Year Plan which was prepared in the first phase.
5. The Plan of Operations for the project ‘Norms and Standards for Educational Buildings’ (financed by the Government of Norway) was signed by UNESCO and the PA, and implementation started in April 1997.
6. From the 1996/1997 regular programme, 29 scholarships were granted in favour of Palestinian students. In addition, and within the framework of the Sponsored Fellowship Bank Programme, two short-term fellowships were offered by the National Institute for Education (NIER) of Tokyo (Japan) to enable specialists to gain insight on state-of-the-art policy and programmes in the field of curriculum development. These fellowships started in February 1997. Another six fellowships from Saudi Arabian contributions were awarded to five women and one man to enable them to pursue short-term studies abroad in a variety of fields. Another fellowship was awarded by the Abushadi Family Foundation for a female student to pursue her studies in the United Kingdom.
7. UNESCO continues to support financially the ‘Ministry’ of Education in funding some high-level personnel to help in developing the Palestinian education system. The Organization also gave a financial contribution to the ‘Ministry’ of Higher Education to conduct a conference last March on Information Technology in Higher Education.
8. From the Participation Programme, requests were approved for 1996/1997 for a total amount of US $314,000. These requests were granted to different Palestinian institutions, in particular for training and the purchase of equipment in the fields of competence of UNESCO.
9. Since the last session of the Executive Board, implementation of the following extra-budgetary projects continued and took the following form: